The Value of 0

As the Blackboard “go-to” person, I will always promote the use of Blackboard. Even if an instructor does not want to teach out of Blackboard, I strongly suggest utilizing it to manage grades. Why? #1–Students will have access throughout the semester to any grades posted in Blackboard, #2—You can have Blackboard calculate your grades (my favorite feature), and #3—It’s much harder to mess up the Blackboard grade center than an Excel workbook (very useful for those “not-as-tech-savvy” people).

For those who like to enter grades in Blackboard and/or have Blackboard calculate grades, entering grades in a timely manner is very important. Here’s why–at least once a semester, I get a call from an instructor who has a student challenging a grade. In these cases, the student didn’t turn in an assignment or complete a quiz/test/exam, etc. and thus was given a 0. Unfortunately, the 0 was entered at the end of the semester for the missed item that took place several weeks earlier in the semester.  Without the 0 in the gradebook, the student was probably mislead about his or her current grade in the course. Thus, entering grades in a timely manner is essential for those who rely on the Blackboard gradebook. And as a former student, I know I always anxiously awaited the posting of grades so I could determine what I could do better for next time.

Now that I’m an instructor, I make it a point to post grades in a timely manner. Since I mostly teach online or hybrid, I rarely get to see my students. If a student missed an assignment, I have to try to contact the student instead of being able to talk to him or her in class. I found that entering a grade of 0 elicits a response much quicker than trying to reach out or message the student. Usually, the student will contact me to remedy the grade.

If you’re currently teaching, but not utilizing Blackboard for grading, give it a try. If you need some help, get in touch with me!


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